Students on the campaign: campus politics

Posted on Oct 12 2016 - 8:01am by Austin Hille

Election day is less than a month away and both major party candidates are now in the final stretch toward locking down the undecided votes.

In this crucial period of the campaign, many Ole Miss political student organizations are now throwing their hats in the ring to support their respective nominees.

“We’ve had Trump stickers in the grove. There have been different Trump events in the area that we have let our members know about… We had two voter registration drives over the course of the past few weeks,” said Luke Phillips, president of the College Republicans. “We are looking at putting together some sort of day of action for College Republicans. We might be reaching out to the Trent Kelly campaign to see if we can go door-to-door.”

The Ole Miss College Democrats have also been involved in similar activities in order to raise support for Hillary Clinton. Their activities take on a wide range of involvement, going so far as to travel to out-of-state locations.

“I’ve been in contact with the local Democratic party in the county and the state Democratic party, and they have had us recruiting people to do phone banking, calling voters trying to get her platform across,” said College Democrats Vice President Arin Kemp. “We are planning a trip to North Carolina at the beginning of next month to campaign in that battleground state as well.”

This year has also seen the rise of the third-party candidate support club Rebels for Johnson-Weld, formally supporting Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The club has also had its share of campaign involvement on campus.

“We’ve just been trying to get the word out about Gov. Johnson,” said the organization’s president, Dalton Smith. “We are going to try and set up a table outside the Union, and just get a big sign and talk to people. I think that is the best, most effective way to do it. I mean, you have two of the most polarizing candidates ever, and then you got Gary Johnson, a former Governor of New Mexico, who is probably the most likeable person I have ever seen run for office.”

Regardless of how students get involved this election cycle, all clubs agree that being involved in such a capacity is a beneficial experience no matter the outcome of the election.

“I just think it is a great way to get to know your community,” Phillips said. “It’s just a good way to get involved in civic responsibilities. Going door-to-door, I personally have learned a lot about people. As students, we kind of live in a bubble, so it’s really cool to get out and meet members of the community.”